Naomi Osaka’s 2019 season was both a combination of significant ups and downs. One time she was on the top of the WTA rankings before a drastic fall, and a series of dismal runs followed. But she termed all that as a learning curve.
The Japanese started off her season on a high note by clinching the Australian Open. This achievement came after winning her first US Open title back in 2018.
She quickly rose in the WTA rankings and occupied the top spot. Unfortunately, she got carried away with becoming world number one. What followed was a series of miserable performances. Naomi Osaka went almost eight months without any title to her name.
Osaka managed to come back stronger by winning two titles that earned her a spot in the WTA Finals in Shenzhen. Speaking on CNN, the 22-year-old said, “I think (my) mindset. I think I’m more confident in myself than I was before. Before I would have had a little bit of self-doubt, which I still do, but this time, not as much.”
Using stumbling blocks as stepping stones
Despite beating Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows, the Japanese’ excellent run came to an abrupt end. She performed poorly in subsequent tournaments at the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. However, she managed to come back stronger.
“I actually had this dip after I became No.1 because I couldn’t really handle it too much. I won the two grand slams, had the dip, and suddenly everyone counted me out of it a little bit. And then I was thinking to myself I didn’t want to be the person that fades away. And whatever happens, I want to leave some sort of legacy,” she told CNN.
Osaka on being relentless
After unsatisfactory performances, Naomi Osaka decided to take some time to reflect on the poor results. She confirmed having found happiness in playing tennis. This is a sport that she enjoyed playing; hence, she had no otherwise but to remain relentless and give it 100 percent.
“After I lost in the US Open this year earlier than I wanted to, I just meditated on it, and I thought, There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing than playing tennis. So I have to give it 100 percent all of the time, and now I’m here, so obviously it worked out.”
The Japanese went on to participate in the WTA Finals, where she was drawn in the Red Group. She won her first match 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-4 playing against Petra Kvitová. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw from the competition after sustaining a right shoulder injury.
Osaka in Shenzhen, ranking, and results in 2019
Ranked no.3, the Japanese has a 40-11 win-loss record in 2019. Osaka is currently competing in Shenzhen where she beat Petra Kvitova 7-61 4-6 6-4.
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